A few weeks ago Members of our street’s WhatsApp Group started commenting on the enormous quantity of building material (bricks, concrete and sand) being delivered to No 10. The deliveries went on and on. Then a document was pinned to the gate at No 10 showing that construction had been authorised.
Members of the WhatsApp Group followed up and found that the notice pinned to the gate was fraudulent. The Heritage Association requested a meeting with the Owner and the Architect overseeing the construction and the meeting was scheduled for Friday the 21st Feb 2020.
Our gratitude to the residents, ‘Kensington Heritage‘, 'We Love Kensington’, the ‘Kensington Residents and Ratepayers Association’ and to everyone who cared to attend the meeting.
The Architect was nowhere to be found. A man who introduced himself as ‘Larry’ stated that the Architect was unable to attend but not to worry because he (Larry) was also an Architect and would help us with any questions we might have. In no time it was established that this “architect” was in fact no Architect at all.
We were allowed entry to the premises and were horrified to find that the entire back garden had been converted into rooms – 6 in total!! In addition to this the house had its wooden floor ripped up, the pressed ceilings ripped off and walls had been broken down.
Kensington is a suburb steeped in history. There are many architectural jewels including Jeppe High School for Boys, Jeppe High School for Girls, Kensington Castle, numerous homes etc.
Following our meeting this past Friday, the Architect (the real Architect) contacted and met Isabella Pingle, the Chair of the Kensington Heritage Association.
The infringements at No 10 included:
- Fraudulent notice on the gate
- The drawing had been approved for 1 dwelling – they had built 6 dwellings.
The owner has been told to break down all the illegal work and to restore the property as per the approved plans.
What can you do as a resident of Kensington feeling frustrated and threatened by all this illegal construction? Post details to the Kensington Heritage Association, We Love Kensington, Kensington Residents and Ratepayers Association . Phone (SACAP) South African Council For The Architectural Profession.
Architects involved in fraudulent work will be prosecuted. These Architects run the risk of huge fines and the possibility of getting struck off the list (meaning they can no longer continue working as Architects).
Use whatever means at your disposal. Let’s keep the standards in Kensington high for all those who live here and for generations to come.
Tony - February 2020